Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bible Study: "The True Spirit of Christmas"

Back in November I had the opportunity to attend a debate between Dr. James White and Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah, a Muslim, at Duke University. The topic was “The Bible vs. the Qur’an”, but in his closing statements Dr. Shah shared some of his greatest struggles with the Christian faith in the form of these questions. How could almighty God stay in a human woman’s womb for nine months? How could the all powerful creator of the universe be put to death? Why can God not just forgive sin if He so desires; why would Jesus have to die in order for sin to be forgiven? What a set up for Dr. White to share the gospel message in his closing remarks to a large crowd with many Muslim students present. (You can view Dr. Shah and Dr. White’s closing statements here.)

These are the same questions we deal with in our study of Philippians 2:5-8 entitled "The True Spirit of Christmas" which we will be sharing in our interim Bible study at the Capitol. From the introduction of our study:

"There is much talk this time of year of the “spirit of Christmas”. At a time when even the term “Christmas” is often discarded, this phrase has taken on something of a generic meaning. It has become a sort of “warm fuzzy” term that refers merely to giving, loving, and caring for others. Jesus Himself gave us the very definition of “Christmas spirit” when He came to earth and unselfishly gave Himself to serve and ultimately give His life for our sin. In the capitol where priorities are often about influence, prestige, and power it is important to consider Jesus’ example of the true spirit of Christmas."
A couple of quotes:

"A great marvel is that Incarnation, that the eternal God should take into union with Himself our human nature, and should be born at Bethlehem, and live at Nazareth, and die at Calvary on our behalf!" (Charles Spurgeon)
"Herein is wonder of wonders: He came below to raise me above, He was born like me that I might become like Him." (Gift of Gifts. Valley of Vision. pg. 28)
Read the complete study “The True Spirit of Christmas” here.

No comments: